Atanas Burov was born on January 30th 1875 in Gorna Oriahovitsa. He studied in his own town and in the Aprilov secondary school in Gabrovo. In 1903 he graduated in law and economics in La Sorbonne in Paris.
In 1895 in Russe his father, Dimitar Burov, founded the Bulgarian Trade Bank. The Bank and its associated enterprises formed an organized political power – the People’s Party. Dimitar Burov’s work was to be continued by his two sons – Ivan and Atanas. The elder one, Ivan Burov, graduated from the Vienna Trade Academy, and after that he started working for „Credit Lyonnais” in Marseilles. Following his return to Bulgaria, he headed the management of the Svishtov Branch of the Bulgarian Trade Bank. In 1909 Ivan Burov moved to Sofia and entered the Bulgarian Trade Bank Managing Board as its member.
After his return from Paris, Atanas Burov also got involved in banking affairs. He was interested in politics and journalism. As an active member of the People’s Party, he became a member of the Parliament. He expressed his political views in the “Peace” newspaper. He participated in the First Balkan War as a lieutenant and was honored with the award “For courage”.
On the 1st of June, 1913 Atanas Burov was appointed Minister of Commerce and Industry in Stefan Danev’s cabinet. His one-month participation in the government in that difficult moment for his country gave him grounds for reflections that changed his political views. The clear-headed evaluation of the situation on the Balkans and Europe convinced Burov to definitely take the side of the Triple Entente.
On the 6th of October, 1917 Atanas Burov entered Alexander Stamboliiski’s office as Minister of Commerce and Industry, but since the 1st of May 1920 he joined the opposition again.
In November 1920 the People’s Party and the People’s Progressive Party merged, forming the United People’s Progressive Party, and Atanas Burov was appointed as its Secretary. He worked with huge energy for the unification of the forces, standing to the right of the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union (BANU) and the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP). Thus the People’s Alliance was formed. The Bulgarian Trade Bank, as well as the great prestige of Atanas Burov, who by the time is Chairman of the Bulgarian industrialists, formed the base of that Alliance. Its goal was to remove the Agrarians from the power through parliamentary elections. In 1923 two wings were formed – one for parliamentary democracy headed by Andrey Liapchev and Atanas Burov, and another - with tendency to conspiracy and violent methods in politics, headed by professor Tsankov and general Valkov.
In Liapchev’s government (1926-1931) Atanas Burov was Minister of Foreign Affairs. The complex internal and external situation required hard efforts on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who, together with the Financial Minister Vladimir Mollov, achieved series of successes: granting of a loan, called “Stability Loan”, whose purpose was stabilization of the national currency, development of the transport and strengthening of the communication lines. The most difficult task was solving the reparation problem. The international situation was complex and the pressure of the interested neighbors created an unfavorable attitude by the Great powers. Following numerous visits and personal talks, Burov and Mollov succeeded to renew the imposed moratorium on the “Reparations debt” and to decrease substantially the installments and the time limit of its payment.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs he was also Minister of religions. Under his initiative the guardianship “Zograf” was created, in order to assist and protect Aton monasteries’ interests in the difficult times, they experienced.
After the coup d’état on May 1934 Atanas Burov wrote a series of articles in defense of the parliamentarism, printed in the “Peace” newspaper.
The politician Atanas Burov foresaw the beginning of the Second World War. He had an idea to create a conservative antifascist front, and appealed numerous times for it, but the consolidation of the political forces in the right wing never occurred. He accepted to participate in the government led by K. Muraviev with the idea to save Bulgaria. The war that URSS declared to Bulgaria led to radical changes. The old politician remained a follower of parliamentarism and democracy. He was convicted by the People’s Court and imprisoned, then in 1948 was deported to Drianovo. In 1951 he was arrested again and sentenced by the People’s Court to 20 years of prison. He died in the Pazardjik prison from chronic myocarditis and full heart failure at the age of 79.
The life and work of Atanas Burov are an integral part of the destiny and the history of Bulgaria. Outstanding financier, politician and statesman of his time, with his solid beliefs of a democrat, humanist and patriot he is still topical today.
To preserve the Atanas Burov's ideas of establishing a ruled by the principles of democracy Bulgarian state with prospering economy based on modern financial system and free flow of capitals and to deliver them to the young generation
"Atanas Burov" Foundation
9 Fridtjof Nansen
Unated Bulgarian Bank
tel +359 2 811 3633; +359 2 811 3634
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